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Posted on October 24, 2012 in Asia, Europe, Travel Advisory

Travel Warning for Turkey

We provide travel medical insurance to mission teams to Turkey.  Recently the US State Department issued the below warning:

The Embassy advises U.S. citizens that we have recently added the provinces of Hatay, Kilis, Gaziantep, and ?anl?urfa to the list of provinces in southeast Turkey for which special permission is required for any necessary official or unofficial travel by U.S. government employees. The other restricted provinces are ??rnak, Diyarbak?r, Van, Siirt, Mu?, Mardin, Batman, Bingöl, Tunceli, Hakkâri, Bitlis and Elazi?. U.S government employees are required to take special precautions when traveling in these provinces, to include consulting with local security officials on current threats. If road travel is necessary, drive only during daylight hours and on major highways. The Embassy reminds U.S. citizens that the situation in southeast Turkey, while usually calm, can change without warning. Over the past several months, provinces in southeast Turkey have experienced a substantial increase in terrorist attacks and kidnappings. Turkish towns located directly along the border with Syria have also been struck by bullets and artillery rounds originating in Syria, with some resulting in deaths or injuries.

In addition to the well-known, longstanding threat from terrorists associated with Kongra-Gel (KGK, also known as PKK), other violent extremists have transited Turkey en route to Syria. Therefore, we recommend that U.S. citizens take care in meetings with individuals claiming to represent the Syrian opposition movement.

We remind U.S. citizens traveling to the southeastern part of Turkey or residing in Turkey to provide their contact and next- of-kin information through the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program. By enrolling, U.S. citizens make it easier for the Embassy to contact them in case of emergency. U.S. citizens without Internet access may register directly with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. For additional information, please refer to “A Safe Trip Abroad.”

U.S. citizens visiting or residing in Turkey for business or pleasure typically enjoy a richly rewarding and safe experience. Nevertheless, we encourage all U.S. citizens to pay attention to local news media and the advice of Turkish authorities, and to maintain a modest and respectful demeanor throughout Turkey. The Department of State advises all U.S. citizens abroad to take prudent steps to ensure personal safety: remain vigilant and aware of surroundings, listen to news reports, avoid crowds and demonstrations, and vary times and routes for all travel.

Copyright © 2012, U.S. Department of State

Posted on June 20, 2012 in Europe, Travel

Care While There: A Guide to London’s Games

37 days and counting until the Summer Olympics…

Not all of us are as quick on our feet as the athletes we’ll watch at the Summer Olympic games. So while you may be fortunate enough to get to participate as a spectator, like most of us you may be clumsy at times, prone to accidents, or have a knack for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. We certainly hope everyone’s trip to the Olympics is trouble-free, but just in case, our final installment of our Guide to London’s games offers useful tips on how to find help if you need it. Ready? Set…go!

How Do I Get Medical Care?

While medical services are widely available in London, free care under the National Health System (NHS) is allowed only for (more…)

Posted on June 18, 2012 in Europe, Travel

Play It Safe: A Guide to London’s Games

The Summer Olympics are almost here!

In just 39 days, London will treat the world to its Summer Olympics Opening Ceremonies. If you’re lucky enough to be there in person, this second installment of our 3-part Guide to London’s Games, offers information on what London is doing to keep you and thousands of spectators safe during the Summer Olympic games. Here we go…

Is London Safe?

Kroll Security Analysts reports that there is a moderate risk for crime in London, although the overall crime rate fell by one percent in 2010 from 2009 figures, according to the London Metropolitan Police. In January 2012, the secretary-general of Interpol said his organization uncovered no specific intelligence indicating a threat to the Olympic Games by militants.

The most serious crime threat to foreigners in London comes from (more…)

Posted on June 14, 2012 in Europe, Travel

Go for the Gold: A Guide to London’s Games

The world will soon train itself on London, England as the city hosts the 2012 Summer Olympic Games. Spectators from across the globe will travel to London see the world’s best athletes compete to win gold. In this 3-part Guide to London’s Games, we’ll address a few questions and welcome your feedback. Let’s go!

Can I Still Get Tickets?

According to a recent search at www.CoSport.com, tickets are still available for certain competitions, including some basketball, gymnastics and volleyball tournaments. There are still Olympic Games you can watch even without tickets. (more…)

Posted on May 1, 2012 in Europe, Mission Trip Update

Mission Update: Trinity Fellowship, L’Arcada, Spain

We love sharing stories about our group travel medical insurance clients, especially those on mission…

This story comes from Trinity Fellowship Evangelical Free Church in Michigan about their mission work at L’Arcada, a Native American-style youth summer camp developed to reach the people of Spain! Here’s an update the team will share with their church family this coming Sunday:

Our team of ten people that returned April 20 from Trinity Fellowship’s mission trip to L’Arcada in Spain is grateful for the support that made this possible. We had a profitable work time making the camp (more…)

Posted on February 5, 2012 in Europe, Travel Advisory

Another European Airline Goes Bust: 7,000 Stranded

Many of our ISL clients are traveling over the next couple months. Please remember you have trip cancellation/delay benefits with your policy.

Hungary’s Malev Airlines ceased operations early this morning, becoming the second European airline to fold in the past week. Spanish carrier Spanair ceased operations last Friday, stranding about 22,000 passengers.

Read the full story at USA Today

As always, if you have questions about what your insurance plan covers or are interested in purchasing this type of coverage, please call to speak with an Insurance Services of America Client Advisor: (800) 647-4589 or (480) 821-9052

Posted on January 17, 2012 in Europe, Travel Advisory

Spain’s Iberia Airline Pilots to Strike

The pilots from Spain’s national airline announced on January 14th plans to hold three more strikes in January 2012 to protest the launch of a new low-cost airline, reports indicated. The moves are scheduled for January 25th, 27th, and 30th, after two strikes earlier that month and two more in December 2011. The pilots fear that the new low-cost airline would take over the majority of the Spanish airline’s short and medium routes.

Posted on January 17, 2012 in Europe, Travel Advisory

US State Department Travel Warning for Norway

Norwegian media have reported a number of violent assaults in the Oslo area over the past several months. These include a daytime knife attack on a tram near Solli plass on January 5th and two stabbings near Oslo Central Station on January 10th. Parks can be especially dangerous, even Slottsparken (The Palace Park) across from the U.S. Embassy, which has been the site of multiple assaults. (more…)